Retailers & Credit Card Merchants targeted by HMRC

Retailers that attempt to hide the true extent of their sales and profits to avoid tax are to be targeted.

HMRC is seeking data to assess whether companies are declaring sales.

HM Revenue and Customs is to be given wider powers which will allow it to force banks to hand over the data from credit and debit card sales.

The draft Finance Bill, to be published this month, will contain measures to allow HMRC to obtain data from merchant acquirers – the divisions of banks which facilitate and deal with credit and debit card payments – about businesses that use their facilities.

The Government said the move was intended to help “identify businesses that do not declare their full sales, or that operate in the hidden economy.”

The new powers would enable the taxman to verify businesses’ sales figures to ensure transactions are actually going through companies’ books.